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Study: Israel Links Migraines with Heart Defect

By Israel21c

An Israeli study shows that correction of Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) relieves the intensity and frequency of migraines. Present in 4 out of 100,000 people, ASD is a hole in the wall between the two upper chambers of the heart. One of the many side effects of ASD is migraines, with over 50% of ASD sufferers also regularly experiencing migraines. Researchers at the Rabin Medical Center analyzed the frequency and clinical features of migraines in 72 ASD patients who underwent ASD repair. Of these, 70% of those with migraines improved after the ASD closure.

U.S. Criticizes Possible Hamas Role in Palestinian Government

By VOA News

Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat has indicated he might include the militant Islamic group Hamas in a government for the Gaza Strip, if and when, Israel withdraws from the territory. The State Department has voiced opposition to such a role for Hamas, but the group's popularity makes it difficult for Arafat to ignore.

Hamas has claimed responsibility for attacks that have killed hundreds of Israelis in the past three and a half years of violence, and many more before that. Israel and the United States designate Hamas as a terrorist organization.

Ghazi Hamad is editor in chief of the Hamas-linked Al-Ressala weekly. Speaking with VOA in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, he denied that accusation. "We are not fighting against Britain, against the Americans or against Italians or against anyone. We just focus on the occupation," Hamad said. "In general, we are the victims of the occupation and we have the right to defend against the occupation.

"In general, no one agrees for this kind of war to attack civilians. I ask you a question, how many Palestinian civilians were killed during this Intifada? Daily Palestinians are killed, daily. So, sometimes we feel the war in the heart of our cities, our villages our refugee camps and we are suffering ... and the Israelis in Israeli cities, in Tel Aviv, in Jaffa, they are living in prosperity, they are traveling abroad, they are eating, drinking. They never feel that there are some people who are suffering ... Sometimes the Palestinians feel that we have to move this war in the Israeli street in order that they have to feel the pain. They have to exert pressure on their government [that] 'you have to stop.' "

Israel does feel pressure to act and says it has every right to track down and kill those responsible for or planning to carry out attacks against Israelis. More than 3,000 Palestinians and about 1,000 Israelis have been killed in the current Intifada, or uprising. Most have been civilians.

Hamas is an acronym for the Islamic Resistance Movement. It was formed in the late 1980's during the first Palestinian Intifada. The organization rejects compromise with Israel, including a two-state solution. It does not recognize Israel's right to exist and remains opposed to the Oslo Peace Accords, signed between Israel and the Palestinians in 1993.

For years, Hamas was a fringe organization, popular mainly for its social and educational work, especially in poor neighborhoods. But, that has changed. The most recent Palestinian public opinion poll indicates Hamas has the support of 30 percent of the Palestinian population in Gaza and the West Bank. It is increasingly seen as a rival to Yasir Arafat's mainstream Fatah movement.

Imad Falouji was once a leading member of Hamas, but in recent years he has been a member of the Palestinian legislature and an advisor to Arafat. He says Hamas' growing stature is due in large part to the failure of the Oslo peace accords and the failure of the Palestinian Authority to deliver on the benefits of peace.

"If the [Palestinian] Authority succeeded in these 10 years and the Palestinians feel [felt] the results of peace, you would see Hamas now a small party - if Yasir Arafat succeeded and he gave the Palestinians hope for the future. But, when Yasir Arafat failed, when the Palestinian Authority failed, of course you see Hamas the biggest party for the people now. Not because Hamas [is] strong, but because the PA [Palestinian Authority] failed.

The United States and Israel have repeatedly demanded that the Palestinian Authority crack down and dismantle what they call terror organizations, such as Hamas. It is one of the stipulations of the internationally backed "Road Map" peace plan, which remains stalled. But, Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia has insisted on the need to talk with these groups - to bring them into the fold rather than risk igniting a civil war.

Talks have been under way among the various factions on that issue, and some Hamas officials are saying they could join the Palestinian Authority if there is real power sharing, but not just for a symbolic role.

Gadhafi's Son: Libyan Jews Entitled to Compensation

By Ha'aretz

Libyan Jews will be able to receive compensation for property confiscated when they left the country, the son of Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi told the Egyptian weekly Al-Ahram Al-Arabi. Saif al-Islam Gadhafi also invited Libyan Jews to return, saying Libya is "their country and their original homeland."

Gadhafi said this would help solve the Palestinian problem, as the returning Libyan Jews could leave their homes to the Palestinians. Gadhafi explained that Libya does not intend to negotiate with Israel, as it is not in conflict with Libya and has not conquered Libyan territory. Libya is therefore indifferent to the Middle East peace process.

"From the start we did not want to get into the stew of the Middle East," Gadhafi said. "Until recently we were in conflict with Israel, but things have changed. The Palestinians to whom we gave support, weapons and military equipment refused this assistance and began to ask for money to build industrial projects and civil infrastructure."

"Besides, conflict countries like Egypt, Jordan, and to a certain extent Syria, negotiated with Israel and even signed peace agreements while Libya, which is not a conflict country, continued to pay the bill. That is, they benefited and we continued to pay a price. We have, therefore, decided to completely distance ourselves from the Middle East and to turn to Africa. If interested parties have decided to cease the war against Israel, why should we go on with it? Should we be more righteous than the Pope?"

In an interview last month, Saif Gadhafi praised Israel for its democracy, saying that unlike Arab countries, sons do not tend to succeed their fathers in power in Israel. "We don't put the appropriate person in the right place, but Israel is a democratic country,'' he told Al-Jazeera television station.

Gadhafi also called on Arab states to support President George W. Bush's campaign to promote democracy in the Middle East. "Instead of shouting and criticizing the American initiative, you have to bring democracy to your countries, and then there will be no need to fear America or your people. The Arabs should either change or change will be imposed on them from outside."

Future Shock: Israel Prepares Itself for the 'Big One'

By Christian Broadcasting Network (Commentary)

The Geophysical Institute predicts there will be another earthquake in Israel during the next 50 years.

Two months after the February earthquake in Israel, a recent report released by the Israel Antiquities Authority reveals structural damage has occurred to the eastern wall of Jerusalem's Temple Mount. The report indicates new cracks and movements were discovered after the earthquake, and authorities are concerned that parts of the wall could collapse onto the underground support of the Mount, the location of Solomon's Stables. This is where Islamic authorities in the late 1990s, without concern for Jewish antiquities at the site, built the largest mosque in the country that can now accommodate 30,000 Muslim worshippers.

When the earthquake hit Israel on Feb. 11, citizens experienced a quake measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale. At the time, reports indicated that a building in the northern town of Akko and several buildings in Tel Aviv were damaged, as well as the ceiling above the speaker platform in the Knesset, which was cracked. No major injuries were reported. The earthquake shook most of Israel from the south to the north of the country. Its epicenter was at the Dead Sea.

Gene and Mary Lois Little, Christian Directors of the House of Peace in Jerusalem, were conducting a worship meeting in their home when the earthquake occurred, a few minutes after 10 a.m. About 35 people were in the house, and the worship leader read Psalm 99:1-2, which declares a time when the people tremble and the earth shakes.

"I was sitting in the kitchen worshipping the Lord," said Mary Lois Little. "And, just as he said it, the earthquake hit, and the house swayed to the right, left and right again. I thought God had arrived! The people were shouting. They were shocked but we started rejoicing. God manifested what we read."

Alex Beck, a geologist at the Geophysical Institute of Israel, told CBN News that any place where an earthquake has occurred, more can be expected in the future. "There are several areas around the world, and one of them is here in Israel. And, we're quite sure earthquakes are going to occur here due to geological plate tectonics - a kind of theory that was accepted years ago."

Beck says the theory claims that there is movement of continental plates, which actually shaped the continents around the world. An area of Israel where future earthquakes are expected to strike is on the Syrian-African fault plain that goes from Eilat through the Arava desert, and the Jordan Valley up to Mt. Hermon in the north of Israel.

The fault lines are over a large area. They start in Africa and go up to Turkey. All the epicenters are concentrated in this topographical area. "An epicenter is the place where you have the emission of the energy of the earthquake. We know the area and we can tell that somewhere in the future an earthquake will occur," said Beck. "Taking into account the probability, we have a code, and through this code we are considering the probability of an earthquake occurring."

The Geophysical Institute predicts there will be another earthquake in Israel during the next 50 years. Within the next 500 years, there will be at least one major earthquake with a large magnitude on the Richter scale. According to Beck, there are standards for the construction of buildings based on the codes. "We are planning our buildings in Israel on all the structures so they will be ready, and they will be built in certain parameters, which will decrease the amount of hazard."

On Feb. 11, even though the quake was considered minor on the Richter scale, for some Israelis it was the first time they had ever felt such a strong shaking. This caused a great deal of anxiety, especially for those living in tall buildings. CBN News asked Beck how the Geophysical Institute registers the seismic activity and knows when a major earthquake is striking the land.

"On the Richter scale, you are going from step to step, and you multiply the energy by 30. Between five and seven, you increase the energy by 900," he said. "Usually, we are speaking about seven as a major earthquake -- one that will introduce a lot of hazard and people will be hurt."

Those Israelis who felt the quake the strongest were jolted out of their seats and complained of swaying buildings or moving furniture. Others walking on the street or driving in cars weren't aware that an earthquake had taken place.

Beck said it all depends on where a person is standing or sitting when the earthquake happens. "Where you are at the time of the earthquake and what kind of building you are in will depend on how you feel the impact. The earthquake is only one wave that comes to the area...seismic waves. They will change by the different geology at the surface, and by the building you are in at that moment; and, they will change by the floor."

Beck explained that a car has springs and the springs get all the influence of the earthquake. "You are in motion, and you are sitting on the seat of the car, and you have dumpers (dumping the affect of the seismic waves)." He warned it is not good if you are on a bridge when the earthquake occurs. He claimed that if you are in a home or office building, the safest thing to do is run outdoors.

The Geophysical Institute of Israel monitors earthquakes all over the world, 24 hours a day. Data comes through the Amos satellite. The quake that occurred in February happened in the morning, at a time when most of the geophysicists were in the building working. "However, it can happen at nighttime, but we have a routine, and people will come into the office and analyze the data, and transfer it to all the organizations involved. We figure out where the major impact is," said Beck.

Israel's Geophysical Institute monitors earthquakes in Israel, Cyprus, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and other countries in the Middle East. They measure the density of epicenters. There have been more earthquakes seen in the Gulf of Eilat because of the activity of the plate tectonics. There's movement in the plate near the Sinai and in the plate that exists in the Jordan-Saudi Arabia area.

Beck explained the movement in the Gulf of Eilat. "It is still active and the Gulf of Eilat is opening, so you can see the cluster of the epicenter. There's a growing apart from one another - the coast and the opening; the Gulf of Eilat and the Jordan-Saudi Arabia area."

Beck and the team of geophysicists he works with have been able to gain a lot of data from this activity by taking aerial photos, and they are pinpointing the specific elements of the tectonic plates that are moving apart. In 1995, there was an earthquake that occurred in a small village 70 km (almost 44 miles) south of Eilat. There were 10,000 aftershocks that took place, which were felt throughout Israel.

Beck and others who study earthquakes in this region cannot predict when the next one will occur. But, they say, it is important that construction in Israel is up to code, and that Israelis do their best to prepare for the big one that will one day hit the land.

In the (New Testament) book of Matthew, Chapter 25:7-8, Scripture points out the kind of events in the last days that will shake the earth: "For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And, there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows."

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